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Tuesday 21 January 2020

Ready to settle Mahadayi water issue with Karnataka: Parrikar

Bengaluru: Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar today said his government is willing to consider an amicable settlement with Karnataka on sharing inter-state Mahadayi river water to meet the drinking needs of drought prone areas in northern parts of the state.

Parrikar said, in principle, Goa would not oppose the “reasonable” and “justified” quantum of water meant to be utilised for drinking while pointing out that the matter is pending before the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal.

Parrikar stated this in a letter to Karnataka BJP chief Yeddyurappa, who read it out at a public rally at Hubbali held as part of BJP’s ongoing statewide “Parivarthana Yatra” to “expose misdeeds” of the congress government.

Parikkar was responding to a letter by Yeddyurappa who had led a team and met him in the presence of party president Amit Shah in Delhi yesterday to discuss finding a resolution to the Mahadayi issue.

Yesterday’s meeting mediated by Shah and developments that have followed to resolve the dispute comes at a time when Karnataka is gearing for assembly polls early next year.

Karnataka is seeking release of 7.56 tmcft water by Goa from the river for the Kalasa-Banduri Nala project, being undertaken to improve drinking water supply to the twin cities of Hubballi-Dharwad and districts of Belagavi and Gadag in the state’s northern region.

Parrikar said his government understands that access to drinking water is a basic human need.

On “humanitarian ground”, Goa government is willing to consider the request to work out an amicable settlement strictly restricted to drinking water only to drought prone areas, he said.

Parrikar said the discussion shall be without prejudice to Goa’s rights and contentions before the tribunal, none of which are even touched by the letter.

Earlier, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah dubbed the BJP’s efforts to resolve the Mahadayi river issue as a “political gimmick” ahead of assembly elections in the state.

Siddaramaiah said he welcomed any attempt to resolve the issue and was ready to participate if the prime minister calls a meeting of chief ministers of all three riparian states — Maharashtra being the other — to resolve the issue.

PTI

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